Pick-up Dogs How Two Rescue Dogs Save the West from Being Won

North Fork bald eagle watching

The last days of October have the most beautiful light. I love the long shadows and the golden-brown palettes.

We have a favorite little spot on the North Fork of the Nooksack River where we can go watch eagles and riparian birds, like the kingfisher or the great blue heron. This spot provides an excellent confluence of currents and ravines, where the light can hit just right in the valley.

It’s a short jaunt down to the river from the dirt road. We pass through a series of maples and other deciduous trees with their leaves shining. A side channel opens up to a big, autumnal valley, where Lupe hunts for the little voles that inhabit the detritus on the forest floor.

We continue down and cross the side channel, getting our shoes, socks, and the bottom of our pants soaking wet. We make it out to a small island with a huge Sitka spruce driftwood log. Lupe excitedly continues her search for little animals that make their home in the rotting wood.








Kirsten and Marcos unfruitfully search for bald eagles, looking for movements in the tallest of the large trees that surround the river. We keep our eyes peeled, even Marcos, for any activity in the heights above us, but nothing. We almost always get a glimpse of a baldie sitting high in a tree, surveying the landscape and looking majestic. If we get lucky, we see them swoop over the river channel, sometimes dive-bombing for salmon and steelhead parr in the water.







With light fading, we head back into the dark, spooky forest, lit by the last drops of sunlight coming through the golden leaves. Even if we didn’t spot any eagles, we saw a heron and a kingfisher. And the light was perfect.

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